Top 20 Cardio Workouts at Home for Beginners
Have you been wanting to do cardio workouts, but you’re unsure of where to begin? You can take comfort in the fact that this is a relatively common thing. However, we’re here to give you the inspiration you need to finally get started! After all, the American College of Sports Medicine says that everyone needs to engage in 150-300 minutes of weekly moderate physical activity.
If you don’t hit this goal, it’ll eventually catch up with you. In fact, physical inactivity can lead to:
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
Meanwhile, regular exercise can benefit you in a number of different ways, including:
- Reduces your risk of getting many different chronic diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
- Improves musculoskeletal and bone health.
- Helps improve sleep and reduces feelings of anxiety.
- Helps you avoid unhealthy weight gain.
- Reduces the risk of dementia and helps improve your cognitive ability.
We’re not talking about doing high intensity interval training, either. You can do a HIIT cardio workout at home, but you don’t need to do anything that’s nearly as hard as HIIT to fulfill your weekly needs and help safeguard your health. Instead, we’ll teach you how to do cardio workouts at home for beginners!
Best cardio exercises at home for weight loss
If your goal is to do cardio workouts at home for weight loss, then we’ve got you covered. The best part is that you don’t even need much—or even any—equipment to get started. All you’ve got to do is walk out your front door!
1 Take a Walk
Some people don’t recognize the transformative power of simply taking regular walks, but even if this is all you do, it’ll have a big impact on your body. When it comes to at home cardio workouts without equipment, taking a walk is quite simply one of the best ways to get started.
This low-impact, free exercise doesn’t require you to use a kit. Even better, you can slim down without putting stress on your ankles or knees. Once you’ve gotten used to taking a 20-30 minute walk daily, you can get even more out of the experience by switching to power walking.
Everyone’s exact needs will vary but set a beginning goal of walking three to four times per week. We bet you’ll soon begin to see noticeable results in both your level of energy and the size of your waist!
2 Go Cycling
Next up on our list of free cardio workouts at home is cycling. Yes, this will require you to have a bicycle, bike lights, and a helmet, so there may be some initial outlay if you don’t already have these items. Once you’ve got everything you need, though, it’ll last you for a very long time.
Cycling is a fantastic cardio exercise because it’s so adaptable. One week, you can take easy, flat rides. Next, you can switch it up and do intense cardio workouts at home by heading into the hills. That’s the truly great thing about cycling; it can work for every level of physical fitness, including absolute beginners.
3 Use a Rowing Machine
Rowing machines can be deceptive. They look like they’d provide an easy cardio experience but looks can be deceiving. That’s because they provide a workout for 85% of your body’s musculature! Yes, an inexpensive rowing machine will help you lose weight, along with building strength in your back, shoulders, and arms. It also works out your glutes, thighs, and lower body, too.
Using a rowing machine properly does take a bit of practice. Use the following technique to ensure you don’t hurt your back.
- Initiate the rowing process with your legs. Keep your arms straight and keep a firm grip on the handle. As you push out, make sure you don’t completely straighten your legs.
- Pull on the handle as you bend your elbows. Keep your neck and head straight as you begin to lean back.
- Pull the bar back until it’s between your lower chest and naval. Keep your elbows close to your body as you finish pulling. This will work out your biceps and back.
- Let your arms extend, then lean forward slightly. At the same time, keep your core tight and maintain an upright posture. Next, slide the rowing seat forward as you bend your knees.
Once you’ve conquered the correct technique, try rowing for five minutes. If you’re doing everything correctly, you’ll get tired much faster than anticipated. Slowly work your way up, though, and you’ll eventually be able to handle a 15–20-minute session without much difficulty.
4 Go Swimming
Are you lucky enough to have a home pool or a community pool that’s nearby? Then get in the pool and give your entire body a solid workout! In fact, swimming is one of the few exercises that requires you to use each and every one of your muscles. Plus, it’s a joint-friendly, low-impact exercise that helps build lean muscle tissue and improves stamina.
Now, when we say swimming, we don’t mean getting in the pool and splashing around. You’ll have to actually swim from one side of the pool to the other, and then repeat this several times. But when it comes to an exercise that can cool you off in the summer, there’s really nothing better than swimming!
If you really want to burn through your fat and lose weight, skipping is the answer. This inclusive exercise can be as difficult or easy as you’d like! It all depends on how you choose to skip.
You can do an interval-style workout where you alternate between quick skipping and rest periods. Alternatively, you can crank down the intensity and go for slow and steady, instead. This will keep your heart rate consistently raised without causing too much stress to your body. Either way, getting into skipping is cheap and your skipping rope is easy to travel with, too. Plus, it burns a lot of calories in a short period of time.
30 min cardio workouts at home
Are you ready to move on from focusing on just one or two fun cardio workouts at home? Doing a 30-minute cardio workout gives you enough time to fit in a wide variety of different exercise moves.
6. 30-Minute Indoor Workout
There are some days where you just can’t go outside. Whether it’s because the weather is bad or you just don’t feel like it, don’t worry! Use this exercise routine instead.
- Punches x30
- Squats x20
- Single leg deadlift x20
- Jumping jacks x50
- Plank jacks x20
- Mountain climbers x40
- High knees x30
- Skaters x30
- Bicycles x40
- Commandos x20
- Jump lunges x30
- Punches x30
- Squats x20
- Toe touches x20
7. 30-Minute Weight Loss Workout
This time, we’re going to show you how to lose weight quickly by doing 30-minute sessions.
- Do five minutes of warm-up stretches.
- Alternating jump lunges – 1 minute
- Pendulum lunges – 20 reps
- Jumping rope – 1 minute
- Single-leg deadlift rows – 10 reps per side
- Jump squats – 1 minute
- Squat thruster – 15 reps
- High knees – 1 minute
- Mountain climbers – 1 minute
Repeat this cardio workout as many times as possible in 20 minutes. Take one minute off between sessions.
- Do five minutes of cool down stretches.
8. 30-Minute Cardio Workout for a Full-Body Burn
If you’re looking for easy at home cardio workouts, this one may not apply. Instead, it’s for you to try after you’ve worked yourself up to a harder (but not too hard) workout.
- 5 minutes of warm-up exercises – your choice!
- Pendulum lunges – 10 reps per side
- Alternating jump lunges – 1 minute
- Single-leg deadlift rows – 10 reps per side
- Jumping rope – 1 minute
- Squat thruster – 15 reps
- Jump squat – 1 minute
- Biceps curls – 10 reps
- Humanmaker – 1 minute
Repeat the cardio section a total of three times. Then, end with your choice of a five-minute cool down.
9. 30-Minute Run/Walk Circuit
This circuit provides a complete 30-minute workout, and it doesn’t require you to memorize a lot of different exercises. Instead, do this:
- 5 minutes of walking/running
Dynamic Strength Exercises
- Walking lunges – 10 reps
- Pull-ups – 10 reps
- Rotational med ball throws – 10 reps
- Barbell squats – 10 reps
Repeat this entire process four different times, then use your choice of a five-minute cool down.
10. 30-Minute Sweet Spot Cycling Session
Finally, this 30-minute session allows you to cycle your way to fitness! Using an indoor exercise bike will work best.
- 5-10 minutes of light cycling
- 8 minutes at 88-94% of FTP (with a power meter). If you don’t have a power meter, choose a challenging but not all out cycle speed. With a heart rate monitor, this should put you in Zone 4 (80-90%).
- 4 minutes of recovery with easy spinning.
- Repeat this cycle twice.
- 5 minutes of light cycling
Intense cardio workouts at home
Whether you want to do HIIT circuit training or just want to nudge your workout up a bit, learning how to do each of the following exercises can give you a great overall workout!
11. Froggy Jumps
To get your heart rate up very quickly, try incorporating froggy jumps into your routine.
- Begin by placing your feet approximately hip-width apart. Then, squat down to where you can place your hands on the floor in front of your body.
- Explosively jump up. This will use your quads, glutes, and hamstrings to generate power.
- Place your hands behind your head and tap your heels together as you’re jumping.
- Protect your joints by landing with bent knees.
- Move back into a squat to jump again.
Repeat this process 10-20 times. This may sound like a simple move, but it’ll really get your body working.
Want to do a relatively simple move that will challenge your muscles, lungs, and heart? Add burpees into your workout.
- Stand with your feet approximately hip-width apart.
- Squat to the floor and place your hands in front of you.
- Jump with your feet out behind you. This will put you in the push-up position on your toes and hands. Your body should be in a straight line.
- Do a push-up.
- Jump your feet back to the beginning and stand up.
Repeat for 10 to 15 reps. By the time you’re done, you’ll have a new understanding of what’s meant by an intense cardio workout at home.
13. Jumping Jacks to a Step
This move will take a normal jumping jack to a completely different level of intensity. Be sure to protect your joints by landing with soft knees. Begin with your step set to its lowest position.
- Stand facing a platform or step. Jump onto it using both feet.
- Jump back to the floor (or step down if jumping feels unsafe).
- Do a jumping jack on the floor. After your feet come back together, jump onto the step.
- Continue to alternate between jumping on the step and doing jumping jacks on the floor.
This exercise can be done for either 30 or 60 seconds. Do what you can comfortably do and don’t push yourself. If you feel any pain or discomfort, stop doing this move.
14. Side-to-Side Jumping Lunges
Doing side-to-side jumping lunges will instantly get your heart rate up. Protect your back by engaging your core as you do this gym-free workout.
- Take your left leg out to the side as you bend your right knee. Turn your body to the right in a runner’s lunge. Touch your left fingers to the floor, if possible.
- Jump up and shift your feet in the air. Lunge to your left side, and touch your right fingers to the floor, if possible.
That’s it! Your goal is to alternate between these jumping lunges for 30 to 60 seconds. This may not sound like much but trust us when we say that these lunges will definitely make an impact on you.
15. Long Jumps
Are you ready to take your workouts to the next level? Adding in long jumps is a fantastic way to work your core and your heart. Please note that you must land with soft knees. Otherwise, you could hurt your knees.
- Begin by standing with your feet together. Be sure there’s a lot of room in front of you.
- Lower yourself into a squat, then jump forward as far as you can.
- Land with your knees bent to protect your joints.
Long jumps can be done in a big room. Alternatively, you can return to your starting position before you do the next long jump. Either way, repeat these for 30 to 60 seconds.
At home cardio workouts without equipment
Now, we’re going to show you five more cardio exercises that can be completed without needing any special equipment.
16. Jogging in Place
Jogging outside will always be preferred because it has wind resistance and forward motion. However, on a cold, rainy day, you can always jog in place to get your heart rate up.
- Begin by marching in place. Be sure to swing your arms and lift your knees.
- Keep your feet close to the ground as you move into a light jog.
- Bring your heels closer and closer to your glutes.
- Pumping your arms overhead, start jogging even faster.
This should be done for a minimum of 30 seconds. As you continue on your fitness journey, it’ll eventually become easier to do a full minute, followed by multiple minutes. Let yourself begin wherever you are, though.
17. Front Kick Lunge
Whether you’re looking for women’s or men’s cardio workouts at home, the front kick lunge is a low impact but high intensity exercise that’s certain to get your heart rate moving.
- Stand with your feet approximately hip-width apart. Bring your left leg up.
- Extend your left leg out in a kick, but do NOT hyperextend or lock your leg.
- Bring your leg back, then place it behind you into a straight leg reverse lunge. Maintain your balance on your right leg.
- Lunge down as far as possible. Try to touch the floor with your fingertips.
- Stand up, bringing your left leg forward again. Kick!
Repeat this motion for one full minute, then switch legs.
18. Plyo Lunges
This high-intensity, high-impact exercise will get your heart rate up, burn calories, and work out your thighs, glutes, and hips. If it’s too difficult for you, use static lunges instead.
- Stand in a split stance. Place your left leg in front, and right leg behind.
- Bend your knees, then lower into a lunge.
- Jump into the air and switch legs. When you land, your right leg should be in front, with your left leg behind.
- Be sure to land with soft joints, then lower into a lunge and repeat.
Keep jumping and switching sides. Your goal will be to do these for 60 seconds. However, this may not be possible at first. You can start doing plyo lunges for only 10 seconds, then move your way up.
19. Prisoner Jump Squats
This places more attention on your core than jump squats. It’ll also engage your back and abs. Please note that prisoner jump squats are meant to be a more advanced exercise. Don’t try these until you’ve got the other moves on this list down. Make sure you land with soft knees to avoid harming your joints.
- Place your hands behind your head and put your feet wide apart.
- Squat down as low as you can go. Don’t round your back but do take your torso slightly forward.
- Jump as high up as you can. Be sure to keep your hands behind your head.
- Land with soft knees, then repeat.
If you’re new to prisoner jump squats, begin with small jumps. Work your way up to a bigger jump. Repeat this process for 30 to 60 seconds.
20. Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers require you to have lots of core strength and upper body endurance. So, again, this isn’t the first exercise you should try. If you can do them, though, they’ll help your agility and build leg endurance.
- To begin, go into the push-up position on your toes and hands. Keep your back flat and your core engaged.
- Bring your left knee toward your chest. Rest your foot on the floor.
- Jump up and switch your feet in the air. This will bring your right foot in and your left foot back.
- Alternate sides and move as quickly as you feel comfortable.
Do mountain climbers for 30 to 60 seconds. This is one of the best cardio exercises you can do, so it’s well worth working your way up to 60 seconds.
What is the best beginner cardio workout?
The best way to begin cardio workouts is by walking. This one simple motion will enhance your mental well-being, reduce joint stress, and improve your cardiovascular fitness. It’s truly one of the best at home cardio workouts.
Is 20 minutes of cardio enough at the start?
According to medical guidelines and research, 20 minutes of cardio per day is enough. The one caveat, though, is that you need to choose exercises that will give you at least moderate intensity.
Is 30 minutes of cardio exercise a day enough?
A general guideline states that doing 30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily is the best way to improve your health. However, if you wish to keep weight off that you’ve lost, or lose weight in the first place, it may be necessary to exercise for longer.
What is the best form of cardio at home?
Jumping rope is often referred to as the best form of at-home cardio exercise. It will help you burn off weight fast, too. Jumping rope for 20 minutes will allow you to burn approximately 220 calories.
Best Way to Keep Your Feet Safe as You Workout
We’ve given you 20 different ways to begin working out, including some exercises that are much more intense than others. It truly doesn’t matter if you choose to walk, run, or do a 30-minute cardio workout for your full body, though. As long as you’re moving, you’ve succeeded! Even if you don’t lose a lot of weight, exercising will have a big impact on your overall health.
Speaking of health, one thing that doesn’t get talked about often enough is keeping your feet in good shape while you work out. But if you look back at all the exercises we just mentioned, you’ll see just how critically important your feet are. Therefore, we suggest investing in a pair of high-quality shoes that are well-suited to your particular feet and their needs. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to wear socks. Not only can they protect your feet, but the right pair can even help them heal!
TRUEENERGY® socks include compression and infrared technology. Even better, our special blend will ensure that none of the infrared technology will wash out! That way, you’ll always experience the benefits of wearing our socks, including:
- Improved circulation
- Cellular regeneration
- Soft and naturally breathable
- Moisture control
- Mesh venting
- Expanded heel pocket
- Seamless toe
- Comfort welt top
If you want to have the best cardio workouts, it’s imperative to take care of your feet! Look through our shop today to find the right socks for you!